A quick scan of the web reveals pretty much every site posting holiday gift guides. Most of them are full of crap, so I thought I would share with you, the Loyal Cruft Reader, the actual best items to give. Or to be clear, items that would be great for people that think like me. I've also included a few things not to buy, because they suck.
2011 Good Gift Guide
Deus Ex - A great action oriented RPG that gives the player multiple ways to solve the quests most aligned with their playstyle. Good story with a surprising amount of detail thrown in and plenty of Easter eggs for the die hard fans.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - A deep wide open RPG set in the Elder Scrolls universe. You can do pretty much whatever you want in the world, follow questlines or not, learn crafting skills or not, slay everyone in town as a werewolf or kill no one. I love games that basically require the use of spreadsheets and wikis to really understand the deep end of possibilities and Skyrim delivers. Some of the basics of the game are great, I mean really, who doesn't love the ability to literally steal the soul of your vanquished foes?
What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly - I bought this on a whim after hearing Kevin speak on the radio. A truly eye opening look at the role technology plays in our lives and how technology is growing and changing along with humans. Part history, part philosophy, part prediction, the book is a must read for anyone that thinks seriously about building new technologies.
It's All About the Bike by Robert Penn - The story of a man building his dream bike, touching briefly on cycling history, as his roams the globe visiting the companies that make the components he dreams of. There is a video of the story, but the book is well worth the read. A truly inspiring book for cyclists.
Lululemon Men's Brisk Run Gloves - While no fan of their recent silliness, these gloves are great for runners that brave the winter. The conductive finger and thumb tips allow you to use your iPhone or ATM without removing your gloves. Well designed for running or cycling, these things are worth your cash.
Twin Six Clothing - Cycling apparel for people that don't want to advertise products, pretend to a pro cyclist, and have an appreciation for good style and design.
Handsome Coffee - A few friends have started a coffee company in Los Angeles and they roast wonderful coffee. Coffee so good that your significant other will stop and say, "Wow, that smells fantastic." Buy some now.
Jambox - A portable audio speaker and speakphone that does it right. Simple, and elegant, it's an extension of your phone, nothing more, nothing less. If all you want is you music with you in the house or when you travel, Jambox is perfectly. If you want multi-room, playlisty, smart tagged, app friendly, complicated bullshit, don't get a Jambox. Super simple and easy to use, this bluetooth enabled speaker is for the music lover that doesn't love tech.
Habits of the Heart by Idle Warship - The new album by Talib Kweli and Res is terrific. Give it a listen, don't cost nuthin'.
Bad Gifts - Do not buy
Rage - Glitchy shooter on rails with a backstory written by a 5 year old. Anytime John Goodman's talents are wasted, it's a tragedy. This game is tragic.
Battlefield 3 - Prone snipetards and aimboting fuckwits.
McRib sandwich - Gross and horrific miracle of meat glue.
Clowns - Anything to do with clowns is bad, stupid, and a blight on humanity.